When disaster strikes, people often don’t have a place to turn to. But for those affected by the devastating Lahaina wildfire, there was Dr. Cory Lehano.
Dr. Lehano runs the Mauliola Pharmacy roughly 40 minutes away from the wildfire site. When the fire caused the town of Lahaina to be left without a pharmacy, Lehano knew what he had to do ― mobilize and help. Since then, his team has been providing essential life-saving medication to the survivors.
In the first few days after the fire, Lehano and his team of less than two dozen people worked around the clock to provide medication without any charge. They treated burn victims and provided aid for skin infections, as well as COVID tests.
Lehano was committed to helping people in need even at the financial cost to his pharmacy. He assembled his team and held a meeting in what he described as “chaos” amidst 15- to 16-hour days. He asked his team if they were willing to continue on their mission to help. “Every single person in our meeting said ‘yes,’” said Lehano.
This hero’s efforts were met with gratitude by the fire’s survivors. The wildfire destroyed more than 2,100 structures and caused an estimated 9,800 people to be displaced. Without Lehano’s help, many of them may not have been able to access the drugs they needed.
The motivation behind these noble deeds lies in Lehano’s Hawaiian ancestry; caring for the community is simply part of their culture and traditions. But more than that, what drove Lehano was an infectious optimism and hope. According to him, “The symbol of hope is really just the people. They are hopeful and they are resilient and they are just ready to move forward.”
The Mauliola Pharmacy team may have started “running until the wheels fall off”, but Lehano now knows that the work will still continue. We can only hope and wish that those affected can make a full recovery, with people like Lehano setting an example for us all to follow.
This is Dr. Cory Lehano. He runs a pharmacy in Maui.
After the wildfires destroyed Lahaina’s pharmacy, many residents were left without access to life-saving medication.
So he packed up his pharmacy and drove down there to help them get those medications — for free.
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— Goodable (@Goodable) September 1, 2023